Chapter

The City

Owen Chadwick

in The Early Reformation on the Continent

Published in print December 2001 | ISBN: 9780198269021
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600470 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198269021.003.0005

Series: Oxford History of the Christian Church

 The City

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The link between towns and the coming of the Reformation, while discernible everywhere, is most evident in the free cities of Germany and Switzerland. Every city had its own characteristics, and religious divisions caused different problems, but everywhere the Reformation was introduced it had similar features: the control of church affairs passed to the city government; forms of worship were made simpler and easy for the people to understand; and ‘misused’ church funds were to be applied to the welfare of the city. Responsibility for poor relief and hospitals passed to the lay authorities and had to be paid for by various expedients, though not by direct taxation. Poverty was seen more as a social problem rather than a question of salvation, while having hospitals under state control allowed advances in medicine to become available for the poor more swiftly.

Keywords: hospitals; imperial cities; poor relief

Chapter.  15962 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

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